Eid Al-Adha being enjoyed with coronavirus precautions

This year marked a return to a more social holiday for many, after last year’s pandemic lockdowns, but precautions remain in place

Iraqi Muslims girls attend Eid al-Adha prayers on the street outside Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad Adhamiya district,Iraq, July 20, 2021. Image used for illustraitve purpose

Iraqi Muslims girls attend Eid al-Adha prayers on the street outside Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad Adhamiya district,Iraq, July 20, 2021. Image used for illustraitve purpose

REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani
ALKHOBAR: Like many Muslims, residents of the cities and villages of the Eastern Province like to spend Eid Al-Adha in the company of family and friends. More than a year into the pandemic, however, concerns about the spread of COVID-19 remain among many.

Mohammed Al-Sufayan, spokesman for the Eastern Province municipality, told Arab News that tourist destinations and attractions across the region are ready to welcome visitors safely throughout the holiday.

They have “a commitment to prevent overcrowding,” and an “integrated plan for hygiene in the areas visitors are expected to visit most,” he said. Advisory signs are in place, along with precautionary procedures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, he added.

The municipality has increased the number of workers, procedures and equipment in the hygiene sector, especially in markets, parks and along waterfronts. Public spaces are being sanitized and pesticides used to prevent some insects from multiplying. In addition, five times as many inspectors as usual are deployed to monitor adherence to the precautionary measures designed to protect public health.

The individual health precautions people in the Eastern Province plan to take during Eid Al-Adha vary, but most seem determined to enjoy the holiday as best they can, as safely as possible.

Tarheeb Nazzal, a former member of the Municipal Council in Al-Khafji, told Arab News he usually celebrates Eid Al-Adha by visiting family, friends and neighbors but “due to the circumstances of the pandemic, we are limited to visiting my parents only.”

Ten-year-old Yahya Radhi said he loves to spend Eid with his family and friends, and the first day of the holiday is a particular favorite. But until he and his two older siblings are able to be vaccinated, he said that they will be staying home — with one notable exception: “We did not visit anyone but my grandmother, with whom we had lunch as usual.”

Moath Alshammari, who is from Riyadh but is spending Eid with his family in the Eastern Province, told Arab News that his home has been prepared for the holiday in a way that satisfies the social-distancing measures advised by the authorities, and he was therefore looking forward to welcoming friends, family and neighbors who visit every Eid.

“Our house is known for its good Arabic coffee — the trick is to use the right amount of saffron — and the sweets that my aunt is famous for making,” he added. One sign of the unusual times, however, which is a step down from his usual hosting standards, is paper plates for guests rather than the good china.

Alshammari, a high-school graduate, added that this Eid is a double celebration for him as he has just been accepted as an undergraduate by the humanities and social sciences department at Shaqra University.

Almothanna Almofadhali, who also lives in Riyadh but is spending the holiday with family in the Eastern Province, said he likes to take it easy during Eid and enjoys a family favorite activity: Fireworks.

“Frankly, I fell asleep after breakfast and enjoyed the fireworks in the morning — and I fell asleep intermittently, even after sunset, because it is not a traditional day,” he said. “But fireworks are important in our household.

“I made sure to visit relatives and friends, and break bread with them in their homes, but I’m very keen on social distance. There are people who try to embrace me, shake hands or kiss but I prefer saying hello at a distance.”

Copyright: Arab News © 2021 All rights reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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